Cost of living in Spain

Currencies Direct September 28th 2009 - 2 minute read

Well, it’s a common question asked by every holidaymaker, job seeker, expat moving to Spain for a second home or retiring in Spain. But the cost of living is something that depends on your lifestyle and the area where you want to be living in. No doubt, Spain is much cheaper compared to the UK and some other European Union countries but considering the increasing prices of everyday commodities due to recession, one might even find these increases a little surprising.

Living in a rented apartment in metropolitan cities like Madrid and Barcelona requires additional daily spending than living in a village in the Costa del Sol. Still the cost of living in a highly developed coastal resort town like Marbella can in some cases cost a little more even than some of the main cities. Because of the tourism influx to the coastal areas and the increasing number of Britons who have retired here, the seaside areas are starting to become increasingly expensive.

One of the most discouraging aspects of the average Spaniard’s life is that the growth of wages falls behind the increasing price rises. The Cost of living in Spain entirely depends on the kind of lifestyle you are living in, you will find the basic necessities like food and drink affordable and easy to live with a low wage. Utilities, including telephone, electricity and gas are also cheaper compared to UK.

For a single person, you would expect to pay around EUR30 to EUR35 for electricity; EUR20 for telephone, for two people bills for food, around EUR350 per month while gas bills come around EUR40 for a gas water heater and a gas stove. However in Spain, a glass of wine or a cup of coffee will cost you only EUR2, a standard lunch in a restaurant around EUR10-EUR15, and a visit to the cinema just EUR6.

Cost of daily goods

The cost of daily goods depends on whether you buy locally produced goods or imported ones. Moreover, it’s always better to visit a few small shops for your daily grocery than shopping from a big supermarket. You will find almost all items a bit pricier in the large super markets and this is because of the ambiance and surroundings and the quality of produce and items is good. But for fresh vegetables, it is usually a better idea to buy those from local street markets or small outlets nearby your home.

The other important aspect of Spain’s cost of living is ‘housing’ which is relatively high compared to other cost of living. The growth of the real state industry in recent years has made it almost impossible for the average Spaniard to buy a new home. Many Spaniards are either spending a large portion of their income as rent or mortgage payments. In the last decade or so, the boom in property market has seen near about 200% rise which is largely due to the interest of foreigners and the tourism industry.

So its possible to live a comfortable life in Spain as long as you live within your means. Spain is not as cheap as it used to be but if you buy sensibly and spend wisely then you will find that Spain is indeed a great destination for whatever reason you choose to come here.

Information courtesy of Craig Edmonds

Marbella Guide is your personal and business guide to Marbella.

Written by
Currencies Direct

Select a topic: